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Fluorescent Tubes to LEDs ?


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We changed 2 out of 4 lights to LED. We used the Bright White (5500k) mainly because we only use the fluorescent lights when we want really bright lights. The best ones we found were from Cabin Bright LED. They have 3 colors and are consistent in color and easy swap to bypass the ballast. Cabin Bright is a medium priced LED company started by a fellow RV'er. They have LED replacements for just about any standard type bulb found in an RV and really know the RV end of the business. https://www.cabinbright.com/shop/the-x-factor-fluorescent-tube-replacements/fled18r-240x/

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"Marine Beam" in North Carolina sells replacement bulbs for fluorescent fixtures. They aren't cheap but they work well. They are available in cool and warm configurations. They are very good bulb and will work with voltages as low as about 8V up to over 20 V. They do require modification of the fixture, removing the ballast.

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For the first fixture I converted to LED I used Ming replacement tubes with a ~4000K temp. But last year I used adhesive LED strips with similar characteristics. The strips were half the price of the tubes and produced the same result.

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I used strips with 3528 leds. You could use fewer strips if you used 5050s. For me, I preferred the look of the 3528s. Purchased warm white strips from a Chinese seller on ebay. Takes about $4 worth of led strips per fixture. Takes a little time and patience to make and solder all the jumpers.

 

 

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For a few dollars more I purchased strips with all the jumpers attached. Installation took less than 15 minutes.

That would be easier. Are they sized as 18-inch replacements and how many strips are pre-jumpered? Do you have a link for the vendor?

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That would be easier. Are they sized as 18-inch replacements and how many strips are pre-jumpered? Do you have a link for the vendor?

 

I decided to use the 5050's you didn't like the color of, but I'm sure the ones you used are available also. They are 19.7" strips, but I just remove the tube sockets and bend the excess light strip up the end of the fixture. It works fine.

 

Here's what I bought: https://www.superbrightleds.com/moreinfo/top-emitting/led-light-strips-led-tape-light-with-18-smdsft-3-chip-smd-led-5050-with-lc2-connector/1465/

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In my geeky brain, I look at the Color Rendering Index (CRI). This number is read in %, and the higher the better. Once you get the CRI over 90, you'd chase your tail to get those last few percent above that. The thing about light is not a specific color of the lamp, it's about how accurate colors reflect under those lights - and that's CRI.

 

Case in point: Anybody see "Abyss"? There's a scene where the star has to cut the correct-colored wire to disarm a nuke, but his glow stick made all the wires look the same color.

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Color might be more important depending on where they are going to be used. We found warmer color, while not as apparently bright, were much better for the kitchen area for cooking and cleaning up. Also, places where hardcopy reading is going to take place, warmer might be better, particularly if one has any developing cataracts, even very juvenile ones. They really attenuate the colors towards the blue end of the spectrum seriously cutting down on contrast.

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BUT,

 

Everyone post how they liked the LED but no one has said anything about how much energy/power savings they realized. How much longer did it extend the daily use of your batteries? Was it worth the money? I not concerned about being trendy, reducing my footprint or the color of light produced. How much longer will the batteries last with daily use?

 

rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

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No one can answer that question but you. It depends on how many watts your current florescents use, how many watts the LED's use, how many hours per day you use them, and how many batteries you have.

 

That said, it will make your batteries last longer, but if you are only using one small florescent fixture, you may not even be able to tell the difference. On the other hand, I replaced all my recessed 10W halogen bulbs with LED's, and replaced the florescent bulbs in the primary fixture over the kitchen sink. This made a real difference. In the living room alone it cut my running load from around 10 amps to about 1.

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No one can answer that question but you. It depends on how many watts your current florescents use, how many watts the LED's use, how many hours per day you use them, and how many batteries you have.

 

That said, it will make your batteries last longer, but if you are only using one small florescent fixture, you may not even be able to tell the difference. On the other hand, I replaced all my recessed 10W halogen bulbs with LED's, and replaced the florescent bulbs in the primary fixture over the kitchen sink. This made a real difference. In the living room alone it cut my running load from around 10 amps to about 1.

Were you able to find dimmable rep!acements for your halogen's?? We have halogen recccesed lighting under our upper cabinets that I use alot. Do we have to replace the entire system or are there plug in bulbs

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